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Catholic Dictionary




The law of selfless love, which Christ said was a new commandment, by which those who are truly Christian would be recognized. He told his followers, "Love one another as I have loved you" (John 5:12). This law is new because commanded by God himself in human form; because it is to be a mutual love, given and received, as the foundation of a new reality, i.e., the Christian community, and because its norm or measure is essentially higher than self-love (Leviticus 19:18), since it is to be patterned after the manner that Christ, who is God, loved the human race even to dying for his enemies. In practice, this means that we are to love by wishing only well to one another, by praying for one another, and by never thinking, saying, or doing anything to injure one another.